Monday, April 30, 2012

Shelfmates #3

Some covers just work together...and some, not so much. I've decided to start up a semi-regular feature called Shelfmates to showcase series covers. I love getting the sequel to a novel and putting it up next to the first book so I thought this might be a fun way to do that on my blog! So here are some series covers and my opinions on how they look as a couple (or series...)!

Halo series by Alexandra Adornetto
I think this series did a lot of things right. Together, the covers look spectacular. Halo and Heaven are by far the better of the two though. Hades doesn't really seem like it goes along with them. I didn't think they could top Halo for me but I think my favorite in the set is actually Heaven. Still, these look great together!

Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer

New Covers
Well, these covers have that color theme going on that I'm always raving about. I like the animalistic pose of the girl in Wolfsbane and together these do look great as a series. But ultimately, they don't hold a candle over the original covers for this series. Out of these three, I think my favorite is Nightshade.

Old Covers
Sorry to anyone who likes the new covers better but these are just so good. They are gorgeous and intriguing and made me want to pick up the books. I love everything about these covers and I really wish they'd have kept them. Heck, I'd be happy to have both sets of covers. I can't help but wonder what they would have done for Bloodrose.

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
These covers fit the books so well. They have a lot of action and fighting in them and I feel like the covers represent this well. I'm mean, let's not lie, Ellie looks like she could kick some major ass in these covers and still look good while doing it. I think they go well together too with the echo of the mist at the bottom and the girl in strong poses. This is going to sound funny but I wish the clothing had been switched because the clothes on the model in Angelfire look a little more serious and I feel like Ellie will take her role more seriously as the series moves on.

Falling Under series by Gwen Hayes
I'm so in love with these covers. They capture the dreamy quality of the novel while still remaining a little dark. I think the first one, with the black roses in the background, really succeeds at that. I do like Dreaming Awake better over all as I think the girl's pose is prettier and I like the added touch of her holding a flower. Together though, this is one strong set of covers!

Revenants series by Amy Plum
Hello gorgeous covers! I was so jealous of the UK when they showed the Die for Me cover because it was just gorgeous. And then they changed that cover to the US covert too and I did a happy dance. I'm a sucker for long flowy dresses so this sates that in me but I also love that swirling stuff covering the title and dress. It reminds me of tribal tattoos. I'm really glad they carried it into the second book. I have to say that of the two, I'm more drawn to the first cover but I love these as a pair.

Starcrossed series by Josephine Angelini
I have to say, I've always loved the understated beauty of the first cover and I think that Dreamless is able to capture that as well.Again, these are color books which I like and I love how both poses are so much like the classic damsel waiting for her man to return home on the sea. The scope of it just feels so epic. I like these separately and as a pair.

Mara Dyer series by Michelle Hodkin
I've already talked a lot about these. I love the first cover and wasn't as wild about the second until I really looked at it. Now I think they are perfect as a pair and work well individually. I think that for me, it was going to be hard to come close to the first cover because it is just do darned pretty. 

So there are my covers this week. What do you think about them? I'm actually digging them all accept the re-releases of the Nightshade because I like the originals better. Which are your favorite pairing or least favorite?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spring Into the Future Signing (and giveaway) with Tahereh Mafi and Veronica Rossi

This weekend, my hubby and I made the trek down to Miami because I read a bout a super cool tour going on called Spring Into the Future with two of my very favorite authors Tahereh Mafi and Veronica Rossi. I was so stinking stoked for this even because I love both of these books. To get ready, I made a Down the Rabbit Hole t-shirt and I also made bags as presents for the authors.

The bags I made

Me in my Down the Rabbit Hole shirt and my hubby
The events that I've attended at Books & Books in the past have normally been very structured but I liked the laid back atmosphere of this event. The aythors weren't formally introduced, they introduced themselves and they conducting the entire Q & A section.

These two were seriously funny. I'd seen Tahereh Mafi talking about how they were like a married couple on Twitter so it was funny to see them laugh and "argue" with each other about who was going to answer the questions first (Mafi almost always got Rossi to talk first).

So here are some of the cool things we found out during the Q & A from each author that you need to know.

Tahereh Mafi
This photo basically captures who Tahehreh Mafi is
  • Warren is not Warren's first name but rather his last. We'll find out his first name in the next books. She chose it because it has the word "war" in it
  • Mafi normally names her character with whatever pops into her head but for Shatter Me, she picked out specific names for Adam and Juliette.
  • The original title of Shatter Me was Touching Juliette which she gets endless amusement out of (we all did as a matter of fact).
  • When Mafi recieved the call that her book sold, she was at a day job and ran out. She says she literally fell over (in high heels) and then had to act like nothing happened. Her mother texted and called her a million times after her intial text that her book sold but she ignored them all because she had to work.
  • Mafi had to wait 3 months before she could announce her book sold.
  • Her character Adam has a tattoo on his back of a bird. Her brother does also. She said when her brother read the book, he felt scadalized and it's made Thanksgiving dinners awkward.
  • A line of dialog that will appear in the book is (and I'm paraphrasing) "I like to hear myself talk. It's the best part." It was originally said by her brother and will be said by Kenji.
  • This wasn't confirmed by her but I walked away with the feeling that Kenji might be her favorite character in the book, mostly because he's inapproriate and funny. We do know that there will be more of Kenji in the next two books. Also, Kenji is Japanese for those of you who don't know!
  • Mafi's best advice to aspiring writers is to never give up, even when it feels like you are getting nowhere. At the moment when you feel you should just give up is the moment you push yourself and you will have a breakthrough.
  • Mafi is a self-proclaimed fashion guru with a special love for shoes, bags, scarves and jackets.
Mafi's awesome bag and shoes
Veronica Rossi
  • Under the Never Sky was always called Under The Never Sky. It was taken from a piece of dialog and everyone agreed that it fit. In fact, Rossi has names already picked out for all her novels.
  • Rossi intended for Under the Never Sky to be four books but after talking with her agent and editor decided to make it a trilogy.
  • Aria was pretty much always named Aria since she was genetically designed to be an opera singer. It was Perry's name that Rossi was unsure of. She wasn't sure if it fit him until she was reading up on the beach she imagined is where Perry's tribe stays and found out it is the nesting ground of the peregrine. It sealed his fate.
  • Under the Never Sky was written quickly and needed very little revision. The second book, which Rossi is currently writing, is much more difficult. She said she's rewritten it about five times.
  • Rossi's family was in the audience and so darned excited for her. When I was up getting my entire stack of books signed, Rossi's mother kept coming up to see why they were excited.
  • Rossi doesn't really care who plays her characters in movies as long as they are able to capture their essence. She says it is particularly important for Perry as she considers him part creature.
  • Rossi is a painter and now a writer. She says she often threatens her husband that she is going to start song writing next even though she is in no way musical.
  • If Rossi has a super power it would either be the ability to double herself (so she could go on enternal vacation) or to fly.
  • Rossi's best piece of advice to aspiring authors is to find some friends. They will pick you up, help you make your manuscript better and encourage you along the way.
The biggest thing I walked away from was how funny, witty, kind and generally thankful these two authors are. I really got the sense that they knew how rare it was for dreams to come true and that they are very lucky. I also thought it was interesting that my friend only bought Under the Never Sky at the beginning because it sounded really good but loved Mafi's personality so much that she purchased Shatter Me at the end. (On a side note, once she read the first page of Shatter Me, she said she was angry I didn't force her to buy both at the beginning)

When I put up my stack of books for them (5 for each) they squealed that I had so many but when I gave them their presents, Mafi said something to the affect of "screw work, we have presents". They both seemed to like their tote bags which is awesome since I spent a long time in the store trying to find the perfect things to attach to them. In fact, they seemed to like them so much that they filled my books with hearts on the inside!

As if I wasn't already the biggest nerd in the place, I also painted my fingernails to match the covers of both books. Check out my Under the Never Sky and Shatter Me inspired nails:

*Photos of the signatures coming soon*

Giveaway time!
I've got a signed copy of SHATTER ME and a signed copy of UNDER THE NEVER SKY to giveaway to 2 lucky readers (1 will get SHATTER ME, the other will get UNDER THE NEVER SKY). So here are the rules:
  • US only giveaway (sorry, international guys, I just can't pay for the shipping right now)
  • May only enter once
  • Must fill out form
  • Must be 13 years or older
  • Giveaway ends 5/13/12
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

In My Mailbox 79

In my mailbox is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren that encourages other book bloggers to share what they bought, won, begged for or borrowed. It is usually held on Sundays!

From Tahereh Mafi and Veronica Rossi signing:

  • Signed Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (5 copies--though 2 were for friends and one is for a giveaway)
  • Signed Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi  (5 copies--though 2 were for friends and one is for a giveaway)
From St. Martin's Griffin:
  • ARC of Wake by Amanda Hocking & press packet
From the bookstore:
What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Second Character Saturday 1

Hannah over at In the Best Words started up a new meme which I love and will try to participate in as much as possible. Saturdays are now dedicated to honor the characters that don't always get their voices heard, who support (or work to destroy) our beloved protagonists. This is for the third wheel in the love triangle (can you have wheels on a triangle?), for the BFFs, the family members, or even just the kind and loving (or deceitful and creepy) stranger who shows up and changes the game. We all know these stories wouldn't hold up without support so I'd like to take the time to highlight the best secondary characters I come across. This is an opportunity to talk about what makes these characters special, maybe to speculate what their world would be like without them, or maybe cast them in their own primary roles.

Roar from Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Ah Roar, you sunk into Under the Never Sky and thought I wouldn't notice you. But how could I not? Your skill with the blade had me interested right away. Let's not forget to mention your easy-going attitude and instant connection with Aria and Perry (though you've known Perry for quite a while).

But you know what really sold me? It was that you already had a love. You loved Perry's sister and were actively searching her out. I loved that you were torn between your love for her and your sense of duty to your village.

Basically in a very grave situation, you broke the tension. You seemed to understand both Aria and Perry and were able to help them understand each other. You helped make us laugh too. 

Which has got to be why you are the first secondary character I choose!

Side note: I'm not really sure why I addressed this to the fictional character but I did and I'm going with it. What did you all think of Roar?

Saturday Discussions: Paper vs. Screen

So I've been re-accessing my thoughts on e-readers and deciding if it is worth getting a Nook and entering the land of e-readers.

My friend just got a shiny new Nook for her birthday. Did I mention it's shiny and puts millions of books at the tips of her fingers? Did I also mentioning that you can get lost in Etsy exploring beautiful covers for said Nook and/or Kindle? I really like the way the Nook is and that I can keep all my books with me.

But then I turn around and look at my glorious bookshelf. I look at the titles all in neat rows organized by author and smell the ink on the pages. I took this book with me on vacation, this book has a little tear in the page when I took it out on the beach. See, these paper books were their covers like battle scars, they feel delicious in my hands and they let me know instantly if I'm halfway done with the book. They let me see how much reading I've accomplished.

E-books are much more practical though. The truth of the matter is my books are piled up on the floor and taking over more floor space with every title I buy. My hubby can see the mass of my "sin" but simply turning his head.

So where do I go?

How would I decide which books to buy in print and which to add on an e-reader? I'm just having a really hard time deciding.

I think paper is always going to be the ultimate for me because in the end, I just really like seeing my collection of books all piled on to shelves. Not much makes me more happy than venturing into my library and running my hands through the shelves.

But I guess that doesn't mean I can't have a Nook too.

So you guys tell me, paper or screen? And if you engage in both, I'd love to hear how you manage deciding what to buy on your e-reader and what to purchase in paper.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Purchase Fated and get a present!

See those lovely pair of earrings? They could most definitely fall down your rabbit hole. All you have to do is pre-order Fated in any format (print, e-book or audiobook) and submit your receipt and you will receive a pair of soul seeker inspired earrings–while supplies last.

Now, I'm not sure about you guys but getting a book and a pair of earrings sounds like a darn good time to me.

If you'd like to learn more about this epic deal, head over to and learn about all the rules and what not.

Fated by Alyson Noel
The first book in a magnificent new series about a girl who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead by #1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël.

Lately strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, and glowing people appear out of nowhere. Worried that Daire is having a nervous breakdown, her mother packs her off to stay in the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico with a grandmother she’s never met.

There she crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes who she’s encountered before...but only in her dreams. And she’ll get to know her grandmother—a woman who recognizes Daire’s bizarre episodes for what they are. A call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, one who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead. Her grandmother immediately begins teaching her to harness her powers—but it’s an art that must be mastered quickly. Because Dace’s brother is an evil shape-shifter who’s out to steal her powers. Now Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and find out if Dace is one guy she’s meant to be with...or if he’s allied with the enemy she’s destined to destroy.
Just thought you ought to know!

A Fairy Tale in Photos- Alice In Wonderland

I'm looking for something fun to do on Fridays and I figured that this might be something interesting. As you all can probably tell by the theme of this blog, I really love fairy tales. I've been looking through Deviantart and thought it might be fun to pick a fairy tale and showcase pictures I like from it.

This week's fairy tale has to be Alice In Wonderland.

Bypolar bear
I think the thing that I truly love about Alice In Wonderland is it can be as light or dark as you want. There's a timeless innocence about Alice that will always be there but that innocence can be twisted into something so dark that it's horrifying. Part whimsy, part horror and all creativity, everything about Wonderland is magical. I think that is what has always drawn me to this story.

My favorite of this set, though it is very hard, is the one with Alice and the Mad Hatter on his knee offering her a white rose. It's too cute for words!

What do you think? Which is your favorite photo?
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